The Week: SMG sells Virgin Radio to TIML Golden Square for £53m

SMG has sold Virgin Radio to TIML Golden Square, one of India's largest media groups and the owner of Absolute Radio, for £53.2 million.

TIML Golden Square is planning to invest more than £15 million on rebranding the station after the Virgin name is dropped in the autumn, and has hired Albion to create advertising to support the changes.

The company is aiming to return the station to its glory days of 2000 by creating a new entertainment brand, building on its existing DJs, including Christian O'Connell and the new weekend lunchtime team JK and Joel.

Clive Dickens, Absolute Radio's programme and operations director, said: "One of the big changes we want to effect is to increase its marketing budget. You can't build a brand without it."

In the wake of the sale, Richard Huntingford, the Virgin Radio executive chairman and the former Chrysalis chief executive, will leave his post when his contract runs out in September.

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